‘The X-Life’ Star Denise Russo Found Dead at 44 in California Home

‘The X-Life’ Star Denise Russo Found Dead at 44 in California Home
Denise Russo attends "The X Life" Launch Party at Beso in Hollywood, Calif., on Dec. 15, 2010. (Christopher Polk/Getty Images for JS)

Denise Russo, who appeared in the American reality TV series “The X-Life,” was found dead last week at a home in California, a medical examiner confirmed. She was 44.

In a press release, the San Diego County Medical Examiner’s Office said Russo “was found unresponsive on the floor” on March 5 at a relative’s home in San Diego.

The office noted that despite “aggressive attempts at resuscitation,” she was pronounced dead.

The San Diego Police Department has launched an investigation to determine Russo’s cause of death, according to the release. Although a formal cause hasn’t been determined yet, officials have revealed that drug paraphernalia was reportedly located on the scene.

VH1’s “The X-Life” is a single-season series that aired for 10 episodes from early January 2011 to late February 2011. The reality show follows three extreme sports athletes and their families as they navigate their lives with their careers.

In the series, Russo was featured as the girlfriend of Canadian professional skateboarder Pierre Luc Gagnon, who is commonly known by his initials, PLG.

Other TV stars included in the series are American professional freestyle motocross (FMX) rider Jeremy “Twitch” Stenberg and American BMX legend Cory “Nasty” Nastazio.

A Proud Mom

In an interview with Inked Magazine, Russo said she has an 8-year-old son named Leo Wolf, describing the boy as “the light of my life.”

“I love being a mom!” she said in a questionnaire on the publication’s website. “We wrestle, I do my Russian wrestler accent and body slam little mouse on bed! Leo made life better and being his momma is a gift!”

Russo also revealed in that same interview that she’s been “through a grueling custody battle,” but she did not provide further details on the matter.

“I went through a grueling custody battle and I am still recovering,” Russo said, noting that she would use the prize money from a contest she was competing in at the time to “build a foundation to reconnect with my son.”

Susie Stenberg, Russo’s friend who appeared alongside her on “The X-Life,” told TMZ that she was reportedly living in her car and homeless at the time of her death.

Stenberg described her friend to the outlet as “the most loving and loyal person.”

On Instagram, Russo recently shared a video of Leo snowboarding, expressing that she’s “so proud” of her son and enjoys every moment they are together.

“This is my 8-year-old son Leo Wolf snowboarding for only the 3rd time in his life,” she wrote in the post’s description. “I am so proud of him and so proud to be his momma. I miss him so much every moment of the day and I can’t wait till we are together again. I love you my sweet boy with all my heart!”

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